1/9/13

Create Preschool Counting Sticks

Sometimes even the simplest of activities provides children with experience in many areas of development. Creating Preschool Counting Sticks is inexpensive, easy for all ages of preschoolers, and is a wonderful integrated activity.
Each child gets five popsicle sticks. Count them out loud together, touching each stick. Number each stick with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Put them in order. Count them out loud together, touching each number. Put them in reverse order. Count them backwards out loud together, touching each number. Mix them up and put them in order again.
Provide a basket of colored markers. Name each color together. Count out five markers and lay them alongside the five counting sticks. Use the markers to decorate the counting sticks. Freedom in creativity is very important for children. Provide only encouragement and materials for art. There is no wrong way to make something.
Children practice fine motor skills when handling small items such as the sticks, the markers, and the marker lids. Children practice social and emotional skills by sharing one basket of markers between two children and by waiting their turn for the marker color someone else is using. They use manners as they learn to say, "Please pass the basket."
Guide them on the steps they will need to clean up after their activity...Put all markers in the basket, Stack all the art trays on the shelf, Stack the marker baskets on the shelf, Use baby wipes to remove marker marks from hands, and Throw away the baby wipes. This teaches them to care for and respect the things they use. Involving them in the clean-up process gives them ownership of the materials.
Allow them plenty of time to use the preschool counting sticks throughout the room. Interacting with the counting sticks will generalize over into other areas of play, which helps to solidify the concepts in the child's mind. When it is time to move on to another activity, provide each child a baggie to collect their five sticks together to take home to show their parents what they made and how they use them.

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1 comment:

  1. Jeanette Mays1/9/13, 8:37 PM

    That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing I will try this out at home.

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